Richard Cobe (Junior)

Emmett is found in Paulding County, Ohio and the next two generations were conveniently in plain sight on the census. Richard lived most of his life in Brown Township, Paulding County, Ohio. He was born in either Paulding or Henry County (Napoleon). I have never found a record of birth for him, in fact, I have found records for him only in census and military so I cannot fill in much of his earlier life.

His birth occurred either in 1839 (per his death certificate, but not supported by census), 1842 (1860 census), or 1845 (1850 census, still makes him old enough to serve in 1864.) The 1840 census list two boys in his father’s household, one born around 1835 and one born between 1825 and 1830. I have assigned the 1835 boy to Richard’s older brother, Frederick. The other one is unidentified and was maybe a boarder or another family member. I am inclined to accept Richard was born closer to 1845.

Richard Jr. is another one of our Civil War veterans. Richard Jr. enlisted as a Private in Company G, 38th Infantry Regiment Ohio on 27 January 1864 at the age of 18. A small head scratcher is he was discharged on 7 April 1864 in Columbus, Ohio for being too young. His records do not indicate how old he was, but he must have lied on his enlistment record and they found out (by a family member who didn’t want him to join?) I like to think he was trying to follow his older brother, Frederick into service who had enlisted in Company F of the 38th Infantry Regiment (the same regiment Richard initially tried to join.)

He waited a few months then enlisted as a Private on 28 February 1865 in Company C, 195th Infantry Regiment Ohio on 15 March 1865 at the age of 19 and was mustered out on 18 December 1865 in Washington, DC at the end of the Civil War. The regimental history of the Ohio, 195th Infantry records it was in service during the Civil War for one year. It was organized at Camp Chase from 14-20 March 1865 and arrived at Harper’s Ferry on 25 March where it performed garrison duty there a few days went into camp near Winchester, Virginia with the troops of Gen. Hancock. While in this camp news of Lee’s surrender was received, and the regiment was ordered to Alexandria, where it performed provost and guard duty until 18 December 1865, where it was mustered out of service. Source of unit activity can be found here.

After his enlistment in the Civil War, Richard married Margaret Russell. Together they owned land in Brown Township, Paulding County, Ohio. According to Paulding County land records, Richard owned 40.31 acres in Section 19 and Margaret owned 20 acres in Section 19 (these lots were adjacent to each other.)

Margaret died in 1888 and Richard married Helen McKevitt. Their marriage must have been a rocky one as Helen signed an affidavit to the Pension Office stating that any claim Richard made to them was false and blamed his disabilities on alcoholism and laziness. She further claimed that Richard was rarely home long enough to secure a job. The pension office didn’t seem to take her claim seriously since they continued to pay his disability claim.

During this time of discontent between himself and his second wife, Richard moved to Harbor Springs, Michigan, located in Emmet County. He possibly lived there with his youngest son Frederick (unconfirmed) before being moved to the Michigan Soldiers Home where he died.

Richard’s pension file with his discription as being 5’6″, dark complexion, blue eyes, and dark hair.

He died at the Michigan Soldiers Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan from injuries sustained from a fall. The Soldiers home recorded the following:

Transcribed from records furnished by the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries

Funeral service were conducted by Rev. A. H. Sturgis. Two sons and one daughter was present.

The two sons may have been Joseph and Frederick (if he was living in Harbor Springs), while the daughter would have been Hortense.  Emmett could have been the other son, but he should have been tending to his ill wife and three young children back in Ohio (Mary died September that year).

A portion of Richard’s death certificate.  The informant was the Soldier’s home staff who apparently had little personal information about him. They did not have a birth date for him, but were told he was 63 so they calculated a birth year of 1839.  This is not supported by census records created closer to the year of his birth. This is surprising since his children were living in Michigan at this time and attended his funeral.

Richard’s genealogical summary is:

Richard Cobe was born about 1845 in either Paulding County or Henry County, Ohio. He was the fourth child of Richard Cobe and Eliza Smith both from Ireland. According to his pension records he was Catholic.

He married (1) Margaret Russell on 10 October 1867 in Paulding County, Ohio. She died in 1888.  He married (2) Helen McKevitt on 18 December 1889 in Paulding County, Ohio. Their marriage appears to have ended in separation, as no record of divorce has been found. His veterans home and death certificate records him as single and his pension file says he is widowed. He and Helen never had children together.

He died on 13 February 1902 from injuries resulting from a fall at the Michigan Soldiers Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is buried in the Michigan Soldiers Home Cemetery section 4, number 23.

Richard Cobe Jr’s headstone at the Michigan Soldiers Home in Grand Rapids. Photo obtained from Find-A-Grave, memorial ID 15031719 image uploaded by DUVCW.

Richard and Margaret had the following children:

  1. Hortense was born in April 1869 probably in Paulding County, Ohio. She married 1) Edwin Walter Gleason, 2) Fred A. Gleason and had children by both husbands who were cousins.  She told her children and grandchildren that her marriage to her cousin-in-law, Fred, was a matter of necessity for both of them as they were both widowed and each had young children to provide for in a tough environment. She grew to love Fred and had a long and successful marriage with him.
  2. Emmett R. was born on 13 October 1871 in Paulding County, Ohio. He married Mary Stockford on 28 November 1864 at Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio. He died on 30 March 1907 in Harbor Springs, Emmet County, Michigan.
  3. John W. was born on 1 December 1873 in Paulding County, Ohio. He worked a very exciting life as a canal boatman and is our token black sheep.
  4. Joseph Archles was born on 10 November 1876 in Brown Township, Paulding County, Ohio. He married Charlotte Green on 6 May 1912. According to the 1930 census, he was a veteran of the Spanish-American war (1898), and he is found in 1900 census in the Philippines (military service). He and Charlotte raised their family in Mackinac County, Michigan.
  5. Frederick was born in June 1879.